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My specialist areas feature-wise are organic gardening in an urban/suburban setting, especially encouraging non-gardeners to grow their own. Most of the attempts to get people into gardening miss the mark

My specialist areas feature-wise are organic gardening in an urban/suburban setting, especially encouraging non-gardeners to grow their own. Most of the attempts to get people into gardening miss the mark with ordinary, working-class people - they preach to the converted.

Ecology and climate are vital to gardening, so I advise people what to grow to suit where they live - and what to cook with the end result, often using recipes passed down from my mother and grandmother.

I'm using my daily diary of gardening, weather, triumphs/failures and pictures to write a warts-and-all humorous horticultural book.

Newspaper and magazine production-wise, I like nothing better than a design brief and a blank page to be creative with. I'm not fazed by tight deadlines and am as happy working on my own or as part of a team.

Specialist areas

Gardening, food, environment, blogging; page design, sub-editing, proofreading, web copywriting/design. General research and wider topics also undertaken. Social media consultant. I was a senior sub-editor with 25 years' experience in regional newspapers and magazines before going freelance. For more than four years, I was a news reporter before becoming a sub. For 10 years, I wrote a light-hearted parenthood column, Mum's Life/Mum's View for the Sunderland Echo and Shields Gazette. My weekly full-page gardening column runs in-paper in the Sunderland Echo, The Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and online on each paper's website. I travel to the major flower shows, such as RHS Chelsea and Harrogate, to gather the latest information for my columns but I'm also in touch with the 'under the radar' movements, such as guerilla gardening and permaculture, to give as full a picture as possible. I have my own WordPress website,, which carries unique gardening, food, eco and North-East England-related content, written by me and updated daily, with some guest blogs. The site carries targeted ads and offers, helped by my 7,700+ Twitter following. There is also a Mandycanudigit Facebook page (1,800+ likes) and Mandycanudigit Google+ accounts to back the site. I'm the horticultural expert for, one of the UK's biggest online gardening companies and also write horticultural copy for and I was involved in the national ad campaign launch of natural lifestyle drink ZEO, providing regular blogs and have also written for I am a social media/publicity consultant to RHS Chelsea Gold Medal winners Harperley Hall Farm Nurseries, Co Durham. I also represent Bill Docherty's Nursery and Plant Centre, Gateshead, promoting the firm on social media. I designed and edit the company's website, I am editor of the TM Magazine, a bi-monthly 64-page lifestyle glossy which is distributed with the Teesdale Mercury. As well as planning, designing and subbing all pages, I also write some of the copy and control a budget to hire freelance writers and photographers. I am also involved with copywriting for, writing SEO product descriptions. Freelance production shifts at the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette, Washington Star and The Teesdale Mercury. Technology-wise, I work on InDesign/InCopy, Photoshop, Quark and for the web, HTML5 and WordPress. However, experience has taught me to learn quickly and adapt to new systems.


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